Tuesday, 20 November 2012

London schools build 'Phase 1' action - now for 'Phase 2' !

Last night's meeting of the London NUT Regional Council heard reports from across London where NUT groups were taking collective action to defend their workload by implementing the joint NUT/NASUWT 'Phase One' guidelines.

On the Stratford Picket Line
Pride of place has to be given to the courageous members at Stratford Academy, Newham, on strike this week for another three days - their fourth week of action. Teachers are standing firm, buoyed by the support from parents who organised a public meeting last week which was addressed by Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the NUT, and NASUWT Deputy General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach.

The attendance sheet showed over 30 parents and family members were present and 17 parents signed up on the night to be active in the campaign. Dozens of local people and trade unionists also attended.

The meeting unanimously agreed a motion that “deplored the actions of the Head and Board of Governors that have provoked the strike by their aggressive and irresponsible actions, causing classes to be cancelled and imposing great practical difficulties on parents and pupils”. The meeting called on “the school employers to bring this dispute to an immediate end, to allow pupils to go back to a full school day and to allow teachers to teach”. The motion also demanded the Governors “immediately withdraw cuts to teachers’ pay, to allow teachers to carry out their lawful trade union actions, and to ensure that Stratford Academy is free of management bullying or threats towards teachers and all staff, and pupils and parents”.

A victory has also been achieved at Deptford Green School, Lewisham, where, after NUT and NASUWT members voted to take strike action unless an unacceptable observation regime was scrapped, management eventually withdrew their original proposals and a settlement has now been reached. It again shows what can be achieved by members standing together, backed up by the Union action guidelines.

Other reports were given including in:

  • Hounslow - where primary teachers refused to continue to be subject co-ordinators without receiving additional TLR payment
  • Islington - where a threat to take strike action at Mount Carmel School had also won a success over observations
  • Greenwich - where members in one school had just won a clear limit on directed hours (and another has just voted by 60 votes to 1 to escalate to strike action over excessive observations !)
  • Bexley - where two school groups have said they are prepared to take strike action
  • Waltham Forest - where, in a separate dispute at Connaught school, members are taking sustained strike action in opposition to becoming an Academy.
But many delegates also wanted to know when the Union is moving on to 'Phase 2' and calling national strike action to oppose the national threats to pay, pensions and workload. Those debates will continue - including at the LANAC Conference in Leicester on Saturday, December 8th: http://www.nutlan.org.uk/?q=node/188

Camden NUT announced that it has called on its members to join a Lobby of the DfE on Tuesday December 4th at 5pm to protest at the latest announcements about pensions robbery that will see even more stolen from our salaries from next April (see previous post: http://electmartin1.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/pensions-robbery-they-want-us-to-pay.html )


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